Ecommerce: Understanding online buyers in 2021

Posted on: Monday 15 March 2021 | IAB UK

Research from our Real Living 2021 study shows how consumer behaviour is evolving in the ecommerce space and what this means for advertisers 

Share this

As part of our relaunched Real Living research, we’re delving into the area of ecommerce to understand how the pandemic has diversified the ecommerce audience - with older groups driving growth - and impacted behaviour among established shoppers. 

As Elizabeth Lane, IAB UK’s Head of Research and Measurement explains: “Retail has changed forever over the last year and as we begin to plan for life after lockdown now is the time for marketers to be establishing what their customer base looks like, what their priorities are and mindset is, and how best they can be reached.” 

The research provides a deep-dive into the behaviours are sentiment among heavy ecommerce users. Here are some of the key findings: 

  • Shopping online has increased during the pandemic - across both groceries and retail - and it will be sustained, with 57% agreeing that they don’t plan to reduce their shopping online once the pandemic is over 

  • Those aged 55+ have driven the growth across the four highest-growing ecommerce categories - with an overall increase in spend for food and drink; clothing and fashion; home and garden; personal care and beauty 

  • Social media and word-of-mouth being the key drivers for 16-34s, while older age groups are more likely to turn to retailers and online stores - 45% of 35-54s and 55% of 55+

  • Younger shoppers have turned to local retailers during the past year, with 62% of 16-34s saying they have bought more things online from local shops, while the same proportion of 25-44s are shunning chains in favour of independent retailers

Find out more about Real Living here

You must be a member of the IAB UK to view this content. If you are not a member you can find out more here.

Written by

IAB UK

Share this

Related content

person typing

Ecommerce Week: Top trends to take away

From the role voice plays to shopping via social, we look at the top ecommerce trends and insights from our first of four Specialism Weeks 

Learn more
Abstract image green and blue

Brands must work quickly to harness older shoppers driven to ecommerce by lockdown

IAB UK study reveals pandemic has driven new shopping habits across all age groups

Learn more
abstract image

Why we’re bringing Real Living back for 2021

We’re resurrecting Real Living to give us a national picture of people’s digital days, what’s changing and what this means for advertisers, writes IAB UK...

Learn more
person wrapping a box

IAB UK to host first Ecommerce Week

Taking place 15-19 March, our first Ecommerce Week will see us bring together industry experts at a series of events, reveal key findings from our new...

Learn more

Why digital advertising works

Discover why digital advertising is effective for reaching your customers and building brands.